How To Spot A “Fangirl”

photo above via Video Games Blogger

“A rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character or an actor. Similar to the breed of fanboy. Fangirls congregate at anime conventions and livejournal. Have been known to glomp, grope, and tackle when encountering said obsessions.”

– Urban Dictionary definition of “fangirl

Maybe you are a brand attending a fan convention for the first time. Or maybe you are looking to work with your biggest fans on YouTube. Any way you slice it, some fan behaviors might come off as insanity. Have no fear! What you are likely to encounter is merely unbridled passion and commitment rather than pure craziness. Part of connecting with your fans is discovering and embracing their culture. If you aren’t sure if you’ve ever encountered a fangirl in his/her natural habitat, here are five clear signs to watch out for:

1. Screaming, crying, and basically losing all composure in public

Fangirl behavior transcends time. Frank Sinatra had the bobby soxers. Elvis and The Beatles had their adoring, screaming masses. Today, Fangirls are not exclusively female, and they are as rabid as ever. Fangirls emote. They emote hard. Literally bursting into tears at the mere sight of their idol – it happens.

2. The Art of the Queue

Photo of the Hall H queue from San Diego Comic Con. Photo by Pop Culture Geek.

photo by Pop Culture Geek

Fangirls know how to wait in line. At VidCon, it took two hours to register for the event. Everyone was patient and simply took the long wait as an opportunity to talk to the people around them. At BeautyCon, fangirls waited for 7 hours to get into the single day event. When Twilight made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con, fangirls camped out overnight.

3. Costumes and other devotional art

 tardis_girls-1

photo by Pop Culture Geek

If you encounter a girl in a handmade t-shirt with references you don’t get, or wearing an intricate costume that is clearly not from this era, and it’s not even close to October 31st, she is probably a fangirl. Similarly if she makes videos, or sketches, or writes about things that are from pre-existing narratives, she is probably a fangirl.

4. Swag coming out their eyeballs

1D_sweatshirts

photo by Eva Rinaldi

Fans, be they fangirls or fanboys, like official stuff – especially if it’s free stuff. They wear t-shirts from events they went to, and use any products that are given to them, no matter how impractical, and are very willing to publicly advertise what they love directly on their person.

5. Selfies and documenting the experience

Fans from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Sydney Australia premiere.

photo by Eva Rinaldi

Fangirls document. They take selfies. They like being close to celebrities. They get autographs. They share the evidence of their proximity and community events prolifically.

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